The Vinicunca Mountain, also known as the Rainbow Mountain, is no longer a secret tucked in the central Andes of Peru. It has become an alternative attraction to the famed Machu Picchu citadel, and nowadays you can find day tours to visit this geological wonder. In fact, itâ€™s becoming one of the top activities to do while in Cusco.
Locals say that the Rainbow Mountain used to be covered in glaciers that melted due to global warming, thus its late touristic discovery. The minerals in the Rainbow Mountain caused the sandstones to acquire a red rust-like color that contrasts the yellow, maroon and turquoise stripes, caused by the presence of other minerals combined with weathering; truly a geological wonder.
The Rainbow Mountain is now more accessible than ever thanks to http://RainbowMountain.Center, where you can book a day trip that leaves from Cusco early in the morning and arrives four hours later to the towns of Chilca or Japura situated at the bottom of the mountain. From there youâ€™ll hike five miles for about two or three hours until you reach the peak. It sounds easy, but itâ€™s actually challenging due to the elevation (17,000 feet).
Getting to the top of the Rainbow mountain involves a steep hike that could be extremely challenging for individuals who are not fully acclimatized to the altitude. Itâ€™s recommended you spend at least a couple of days in Cusco prior to the excursion.
Horse rentals and muleteers are also available for travelers not wanting to hike in high altitude. Locals rent horses to take you and your gear up and down covering 98% of the entire trek. There are 2 very steep sections that everyone has to hike on their own for about 10 minutes each in order to protect the horses from exhaustion.
Once you reach the Rainbow Mountain, the most scenic view is to trek to the top of the opposing mountain in order to take the classic Rainbow Mountain picture that is currently so popular in social media. From this summit, you can see the entire Red Valley below. Venturing into the Red Valley below makes you feel as if you are in a completely different planet as the vibrant red and yellow rocks and multi-color sediments create a truly unique environment unlike any other on planet earth.
Once your visit to the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley is completed, your guide will return you back to Chilca or Japura via the same route to have lunch and return to Cusco dropping you off at your hotel. Arrival in Cusco is typically between 6:30 to 7pm making this amazing adventure a full day tour.
For more information or to make a reservation to visit this natural wonder, please visit http://RainbowMountain.Center